Caring for kids teeth is not easy because the child may be unable to tell you exactly what they are feeling. This is especially true of tooth sensitivity issues that the little one may not be able to describe accurately. What you can do is track when the child feels discomfort and see if you can associate it with cold or hot foods.
The best option is to head to your children’s dentist and let the expert identify the issue. However, it does help to know what could cause tooth sensitivity and what you can do about it at home.
Get to the root!
Did you know that there could be myriad reasons why your child experiences teeth sensitivity?
Cavity or loose filling
Some parents overlook aspects of their kids oral health simply because they do not know what to watch out for. In such cases, the child can develop cavities that result in extreme sensitivity in specific places. If you notice white spots on their teeth that darken slowly, that could be a cavity. The more the nerve gets exposed through the cavity, the higher the degree of sensitivity the child experiences. Regular visits to the children’s dentist ensure that such problems do not occur.
Suppose the child is experiencing sensitivity on the upper jaw portion or in the gums of the upper teeth. In that case, it could be infected sinuses causing it. Pressure in the sinus passages can make the gums sore and also cause the nerves to be vulnerable to sensitivity.
Chip or crack
Bruxism or grinding/ gnashing teeth is not an adult problem. Kids can suffer from it too. Their teeth may develop chips and cracks, leading to sensitive teeth. If you have a regular dentist caring for kids teeth at scheduled appointments, they will spot such damage and tell you how to correct it.
New teeth coming in
Even the natural process of losing baby teeth and getting permanent ones can result in teeth sensitivity. The place where the new tooth is emerging is typically highly sensitive.
What to do in the moment
Tooth sensitivity can put the child off food, make them irritable and even ruin their sleep. You can take immediate, effective action to make the child more comfortable. Use a cold compress over the affected area for instant relief.
Warm peppermint tea bags against the affected area help as well. Dip the bag in hot water and then let it come down to a manageable warmth before placing it against the sensitive area.
A salt water rinse also eases up the pain in many cases. It works as a disinfectant, dislodges stuck food particles, and cleans out wounds, if any. Parents can use over-the-counter pain relief, too, that has been prescribed by the dentist previously. Else, you can call in and check what can be given.
Do not put off visiting the children’s dentist. Make an appointment as soon as possible and let the expert take charge of your kids oral health. Sudden tooth pain/ sensitivity may indicate underlying problems like tooth decay or damage that need emergency treatment.
Prevent the ouch!
It is also helpful to know the various methods of controlling sensitivity in children’s teeth. The dentist may adopt one or more of the following:
Dental sealant procedure
A hard plastic coat that covers the pits and grooves on the teeth to prevent food debris from getting in and staying there. The dental sealant procedure also gives added protection to the tooth enamel, preventing it from eroding. Since it can last for years, the dental sealant procedure is a safe, painless way to address your child’s tooth sensitivity for a long time.
Fluoride helps restore and repair the enamel covering. Using fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash is a simple way to adopt this treatment method. The dentist may also recommend a gel or fluoride treatment at the clinic, depending on what will suit the child best.
Switch to sensitive oral hygiene products
Pick oral hygiene products like toothpaste, mouthwash, and toothbrush that are designed for sensitive teeth. Avoid worsening a mild problem into a condition that requires an emergency dentist visit.
Brushing too hard can strip the enamel and leave teeth sensitive. Supervise the child when they brush to ensure they are not applying too much pressure.
Limit sweet consumption
When sugar remains in the mouth, bacteria thrive. Limit sugary foods and ensure the child does not go to sleep without cleaning their teeth after having sweet foods or drinks at night. Getting them to rinse thoroughly after eating sugary foods is a simple technique too.
While caring for kids teeth can present challenges, paying suitable attention at the right time can go a long way in preventing teeth problems like sensitivity. If you are in doubt about what’s right and what’s not, check in with your pediatric dentist at the next kids oral health appointment. Contact Woodlawn Kids Dental today for more information!